Middle childhood can be said to be the best time for planting on the good soil of a child’s mind, and there are values to be inculcated intentionally.
Every seed planted at the stage of middle childhood will be glaringly seen in the next stage of development, and will serve as the foundation on which other stages of development builds.
Research has shown that children at this stage of development are able to control attention and discriminate from important and unimportant information.
Related: “Child Development – Facts & Expectations“
About Middle Childhood
Middle childhood is the time from a child’s 4th through the 11th year of life on earth (4-11 years). It is a very delicate stage when a child develops important foundational skills for building healthy social relationships which will prepare them adequately for adolescense and adulthood.
In many cultures, even in some popular societies middle childhood is that stage when most children are pre-introduced into the adult world. Children at this stage are given some tasks to help shoulder some of the family’s responsibilities.
It is however important to note that this stage of development open up a child to distinctive developmental challenges.
Kindly read my previous article on ‘Social and Emotional Development in Children’ for more insight on the developmental marks in middle childhood.
Values to Inculcate in Middle Childhood
Below are listed and explained four important values to teach children at the stage of middle childhood. These values if well imbibed will serve are a bed-rock for other values to germinate in subsequent stages of development.
Also remember that these values should be inculcated with so much intentionalism by parents, wards, educators. and carers.
These Values are;
- The Joy and Pleasures of Learning:
This value if inculcated at this stage of a child’s development will linger and bear good fruits through adulthood. Dr Seuss Geisel, a popular children’s author said “The more you read, the more things you know; The more you learn, the more places you will go”. The quote hence expresses the fact that learning is a lifelong journey, and it leads to a whole world of opportunities. Children should be shown the different path ways to learning apart from reading. They should at this stage be encouraged to open their minds to new experiences and learn from life’s situations as well as from the people they cross path with. Parents, wards, educators and loved ones should be intentional in inculcating this value.
- Courage to Speak Up:
In the world today, so many adults suffer so many kinds of emotional and psychological hiccups because of some unfortunate happenings in their childhood. These people get constrained in their minds to move and strive forward because opportunities were not given to them to speak up early enough for solutions to be proferred. Speaking up gives children the courage to ask questions in areas that they do not understand. It also gives them the opportunity to put across ideas and thought to adults.
- Living Life With Positivity and Happiness:
It is essential that children be encouraged to focus on the positives in life. Life may not be a bed of roses all the time, and it certainly should not be dark and gloomy. It is paramountly a mix of both (ups & downs) which paves the way for rich learning experiences. Children should be impacted the value of counting their blessings and being thankful for them. They should be taught the value of finding joy in the little things that bring hapiness, such as; a loving family, a nice cozy home in which they live in, food for the belly and so on. They will thus develop the resilence to cope with all the challenges that come their way and will emerge wiser and stronger.
- Money Management:
In different places in the world; countries, communities, and states, children are taught life skills such as; reading, writing, how to play different types of games, instruments, and so on, but not much is taught about money management. This life skill should be taught in the middle stage of a child’s development, especially from the moment a child starts receiving allowances for school. They should be made to keep account of their money usage and plan for the money at hand. They should be taught the consequences of over spending and craving for more than they can afford. By giving children a good head start on money management, they will grow up with a sense of responsibility when it comes to money matters.
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